Last week was definitely one to remember. It all started with the news about my brother in law and his declining health. Then I heard about a friend who died suddenly of a heart attack. I was very saddened by this news. I had so many fond memories of this friend when we were growing up. He was funny and charming and had a great outlook on life. I hadn’t seen him for many years but I still felt terrible when I got the call that he had passed away. Another reminder of how precarious life can be.
That all happened by Monday and on Tuesday, October 26th, I had an ultrasound scheduled. My gynecologist had recommended that I have one done because I have uterine fibroids and I take Tamoxifen. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought about the fact that this same date three years ago I had my mastectomy. I tried not to be superstitious so I kept the appointment and didn’t think too much about it. In fact, I really wasn’t worried. My health has been good lately and I feel strong.
So I went to my appointment and had the ultrasound done. While I was lying on the table and the technician was moving the probe over my belly, I noticed her eyebrows rise a bit. Those of you who have had these scans have probably seen the look. I watched her continue to measure and check. When she was finished she said, “That fibroid is really big. I need to check and make sure it isn’t blocking your kidneys.” I was floored. How big was it? What did this mean? I walked out of the office and I was extremely shaken. I got in my car and I immediately called my husband.
“I have a huge tumor in my uterus. I can’t take it. I can’t handle any more cancer.” By this time I was in tears. “I can’t believe this. Maybe it is nothing but I won’t know until the doctor calls me back tomorrow.”
“Do you want me to come home? I can come and get you.”
“I don’t know. I am just so upset. I can’t take this.”
I drove home and finally stopped crying. I called Mike back to tell him not to come home. There was nothing he could do until we heard from the doctor the next day. The day went slowly. I went to my writing class, my yoga class and then went home and put my pj’s on. I was wiped out.
When the call came the next day, it was the news I expected. The fibroid tumor in my uterus is the size of a small grapefruit. My endometrial lining is thickening because of the Tamoxifen.
I called my oncologist and asked him what the course of action is.
“Nothing. Because if it is not causing pain or bleeding then we don’t do anything.”
“What if it gets bigger?”
“If it gets bigger and starts to cause problems then we do something.”
I am not sure I like this approach. What is it keeps growing and does cause my kidneys to back up? What if it interferes with my digestive system or my ovaries? It just doesn’t seem normal to be walking around with a growth the size of a grapefruit in my body. I hate this wait and see attitude. Why do I have to wait to see if it grows?